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What Minnesotans need to know now that the mask mandate is over

Several health and safety protocols are still in effect, and health officials are urging the unvaccinated to keep covering their faces.

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Molly Noake holds her daughter Afton, 4, who playfully covers her entire face with her mask while listening to Gov. Tim Walz outside Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank in Duluth in this August 2020 file photo. Minnesota's indoor masking requirement lifted Friday, May 14, bringing an end to a coronavirus pandemic protocol that has been in place since last July. (Tyler Schank / Forum News Service)

ST. PAUL — Minnesota's indoor masking requirement lifted Friday, May 14, bringing an end to a coronavirus pandemic protocol that has been in place since last July.

An executive order rescinding the mandate went into effect Friday afternoon, one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated citizens can go without masks in most settings. Minnesota health officials still recommend that unvaccinated Minnesotans wear masks indoors, however, and state-instituted social distancing requirements and capacity limits are still in effect until Friday, May 28.

MORE: As Minnesota ends mask mandate, state officials urge continued caution against COVID-19 The Minnesota Executive Council on Friday voted to lift the state's mask mandate for indoor spaces after the CDC said vaccinated Americans would likely be safe to stop wearing masks in most settings.
The order signed Friday doesn't affect Minnesota schools, which will follow the state's "Safe Learning Plan" until the end of the academic year. And consistent with the CDC's latest guidance, the order also says to comply with local-level pandemic precautions as well as those implemented by private businesses and workplaces.

Employers in Minnesota may not require their employees to work without masks or in unsafe conditions under Gov. Tim Walz 's latest order. Employers can still be reported for harassing workers who continue to wear personal protective equipment. The state eviction moratorium also remains in effect.

The Minnesota Executive Council on Friday also extended the state's peacetime emergency declaration for another 30 days, meaning Walz will hold on to additional emergency powers.


Vaccinated or not, people should still wear masks in crowded indoor settings such as airplanes, buses and hospitals, according to the CDC.

Following are the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 case rates, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations as of Friday. Because all data is preliminary, some numbers and totals may change from one day to the next.

Statewide case rates

  • NEW CASES: 1,306
  • TOTAL CASES: 592,750

  • TOTAL RECOVERED: 575,133

Hospitalizations, deaths



  • TOTAL DEATHS: 7,283


  • FIRST DOSE ADMINISTERED: 2,694,014 people, or 61.1% of residents age 16 and older

  • COMPLETED SERIES (2 DOSES): 2,259,969 people or 51.2% of residents age 16 and older

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